When you write stuff on the internet, the age-old online axiom “never read the comments” doesn’t apply to you. If you don’t read the comments on your own blog, there’s nobody to approve them, you know?
Here at Cookies + Sangria, we’ve been blessed (or #blessed, I think is how you do it on the internet) with some really fantastic commenters. We can count on one hand the number of truly troll-y comments we’ve had, and those all get deleted. They’re not worth the bandwidth.
Then, there are the gray areas. The comments that you don’t quite know what to do with, so they languish unapproved until you eventually delete them. They’re not abusive, or unkind, but they’re also not the sort of thing you want to start a Comments War by addressing.
About three of those have been sitting in our Pending Comments folder for a month. In one of our entertainment posts, they are all comments saying “why are you talking about celebrities and movies? There’s so much wrong in the world, and we should be paying attention to that.”
So, here’s my answer: Exactly. There is so much wrong in the world. I don’t think you’ll find a single person who doesn’t find the world very, very heavy at times. Some of it is lead-weight heavy: famine, genocide, and so on. Even the people with the best lives deal with that sort of wet wool sweater kind of heaviness: bills to pay, sickness, all of that. If the only things that any of us were allowed to read and write about were the most grave and pressing matters of the day, the world would be even weightier than it already is.
The decision to blog about fun, light stuff is a deliberate one. With so much heaviness, our goal is to write the kind of things that we’d enjoy reading ourselves. I hope that you can come here during your coffee break, or when your favorite show goes to commercial, and find something to make you smile. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a waste of our time to write it, or yours to read it.
If you want to learn about the big issues in the world, the internet is a big place, and there are plenty of qualified people writing about them. Just because you aren’t reading about them here, I don’t assume you aren’t reading about them anywhere. In return, I hope you all realize that just because I’m not writing about the serious stuff here, doesn’t mean I don’t care.
Every Saturday, I teach English to refugees. These are people who have lost absolutely everything, from their homes to their nationalities to their loved ones. And do you know what we do at class every week? We laugh – a lot. Part of this is because laughter is one of the universal languages. [The other ones are math and music, but doing math would make me dread the class, and my singing would make the class dread me. Also, Esperanto, but that didn’t really take off, now did it?] If me looking stupid is going to help the English language stick in their heads, I’m glad to do it. However, even if they aren’t learning anything, I don’t think that the two hours we spend laughing every weekend are hours wasted. These are people who know, first-hand, that the world is heavy enough. You shouldn’t ignore that, and I don’t think that any of our readers do. Still, wherever it is you can find some lightness – a funny article, a tv show you look forward to every week, a cat meme – you have to take it. And if you can’t find enough of it, then maybe you should write it yourself. No matter what those gray-area commenters say, there are people out there who need to read it.